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“Modest reforms to pay and compensation will improve readiness and modernization. It will help keep our all-volunteer force sustainable and strong. Keeping faith also means investing sufficient resources so that we can uphold our sacred obligations to defend the nation and to send our sons and daughters to war with only the best training, leadership and equipment. We can’t shrink from our obligations to one another. The stakes are too high.”

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

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2009 National Intelligence Strategy

NISThe Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy (NIS) earlier this week.   DNI overseas the coordination and integration of all 16 intelligence agencies, and the NIC, released every four years, outlines the strategic goals, objectives and priorities for the Intelligence Community (IC).  Like previous years, the 2009 NIS uses standard language to outline priorities.  There is, of course, a large classified portion to the NIS, but the four strategic goals, six mission objectives, and seven enterprise objectives mentioned in the public version conveys, in very overarching terms, the Administration’s intelligence priorities over the mid-term.

From a budgetary perspective, the NIS guides current and future decisions on budgets, acquisitions, and operations for the IC.  But, substantively, the NIS offers little on how this will play out.  The NIS states that the IC will “demonstrate sound financial management” through “financial management transparency, accountability, and auditability, compliant with applicable laws and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines.” There is no explanation if this goes beyond current practices already in place during the regular budget cycle.

Under “improving acquisition”, the NIS calls for the “synchronization of planning, programming, and execution of major acquisition programs with other IC and Department of Defense processes.”  Specifics are not given on how this will take place.

And, the NIS defines DNI’s role as determining the National Intelligence Program (NIP) budget request to the President and overseeing the execution of budgetary resources to properly fund national-level priorities. The NIS does not expand on this point, although these are both current roles for DNI.  Fundamentally, the broad parameters set by the NIS give the general public an idea of the goals, objectives and priorities of the IC, but they are just that: broad.

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